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Whelan Bill To Allow CRDA To Enter Into Cooperative Agreement For Fuel Purchases Approved

Legislation Would Allow CRDA to Take Advantage of Economies of Scale, Invest More in Atlantic City

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee Chairman Jim Whelan which would allow the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) to enter into cooperative purchasing agreements with any governmental unit – including the State, or county or municipal authorities – for the purchase of fuel and other supplies was unanimously approved by the State Government Committee today.

“The mission objective of CRDA is to promote Atlantic City’s tourism industry and to encourage economic growth within the city as a whole,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic. “The more resources we can make available for the mission goals of CRDA, the better it is for the residents and businesses of Atlantic City. By allowing CRDA to take advantage of the economies of scale and join into cooperative purchasing agreements for things like fuel and office supplies, we can put more of their resources into the important goals of promoting Atlantic City’s economy.”

The bill, S-2049, would change the current “Local Public Contracts Law” which allows two or more contracting units to enter into cooperative purchasing agreements for goods and services. Under the current law, CRDA is not considered a “contracting unit” and is therefore prohibited from engaging in cooperative purchasing agreements with local entities. Senator Whelan said that by allowing CRDA to take advantage of cooperative purchasing, the agency could use the economies of scale to negotiate better rates, and invest more money into development and redevelopment in Atlantic City.

“As we see movement towards a shared services model for local, county and State government agencies, we need to break down the bureaucratic barriers which prohibit an agency like CRDA from taking advantage of service and cost-sharing savings,” said Senator Whelan. “This bill allows CRDA to get the best rates possible on supplies by joining with other government entities in purchasing agreements. The end result will be a CRDA with streamlined operational costs, and more resources to do the good things in promoting Atlantic City to the rest of the State and beyond.”

The bill was amended in committee to allow, with a majority vote of the members of CRDA, that other goods or services deemed necessary for the organization to be purchased through cooperative purchasing agreements in order to save money.

The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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